Over the last month or so we have witnessed an ever-intensifying game of ‘poker face’ with immigration policy reforms — or attempts at reforms. The reforms themselves were one aspect but the subsequent actions and reactions surrounding them have only served to heighten the stakes for all sides.
It is unnecessary for me to go over all the details, as by now the whole world is aware of the political and social debacle that term limits removal has created. Thus far, it has resulted in a packed forum and hundreds of hours of blog and radio show time.
On Friday, March 1, Bermuda, and by extension the world via the internet, witnessed a public showdown between the electorate and the elected, or not so elected. The net result is a country on edge.
The OBA government is becoming isolated from many of its own supporters with the decisions it is making as of late.
Both Mr Fahy & Mr Branco need to take a yellow card and chill on the sidelines. They obviously mistook the Bermuda electorate for persons they may play poker with. The stakes have been raised and no one is letting go of their trump card at this point.
The people have spoken and acted. They have proven that they are ready to address any perceived or real disrespect from the OBA inner circle. To attempt to brush it off as merely “blue collar workers” or “disgruntled, unemployed Bermudians” only serves to insult every Bermudian.
On Friday, I saw business owners, lawyers, accountants, homeowners, persons 30-70 years of age. I would go on record to say 90 per cent of those persons were fully employed. There were many who wished to attend but either had a different lunch hour or wanted to see how things develop before they journeyed into Hamilton.
Whilst standing there observing, OBA Senator Jeff Baron and Nick Kempe came over and spoke to me. Jeff and I have never met so we exchanged some light hearted banter. He spoke of his experiences as a UN peacekeeper in Kosovo and specifically how it related to the events we had just witnessed. On parting, I jokingly told both Nick and Jeff to prepare themselves for Fahy’s spot.
It is my honest opinion that many of OBA supporters parallel many PLP supporters. Everyone just wants peace, safety, security and a future for themselves and their children and grandchildren. I say we are equals.
Let us begin to focus on our island concerns as Bermudians and not only as party supporters.
It is time for a joint town hall meeting between Marc Bean and Craig Cannonier. Not a debate, but a discussion with the people of Bermuda.
“There is no more ‘them and us’. It is only us.”
— Bob Richards
To my fellow Bermudians, I am happy to see you rise and stand up. Yet in our standing, let us not stumble with negative words or actions. One collects more bees with honey.
To Mrs Marilyn Outerbridge, we salute you.
To all politicians, remember that effective governing does not occur in an insular environment and buy-in from the community is the key to the successful implementation of any idea. I strongly urge politicians to take the time to sit and talk with the people. Hear us when we speak and act accordingly.
The PLP has already faced its judgment day by the electorate. For now, the OBA is in the driver’s seat. And from what I see and hear, they need to put on two seatbelts and ensure their airbags are working.
Let me address the OBA in an insightful manner: engage the people, listen to the people and most of all, respect the people. They put you in and if you don’t respect them, they will be the ones to take you out.